Monday, June 30, 2008

Why Have $100 Hamburger When You Can Have $100 Onigiri?

My wife took a flight with me today after nearly two and a half years out side of the cockpit. We had a great time.

We were going to fly with my Dad to 6K3 (Creighton Municipal Airport) on father's day, but low clouds and thunderstorms kept us on the ground. They just dedicated a new 3700 foot runway there, replacing their 3100 footer. I kind of wanted to fly there, and the wife suggested that we take a day off and go. Sounded like a winner to me. We chose today nearly a week out, because of convenience, but as 6/30 got closer and closer we found the weather forecast to be near perfect, for a summer day.

The perfect weather for flying is about 50 degrees fahrenheit, calm winds, clear skies, and about 29.92 inches of Mercury of barometric pressure. When we took off from MLE at 7:30 AM it was 62 degrees, calm wind, clear skies, and about 29.98 inches of Mercury. Wow.

We took off with out a bump, set our GPS to 6K3 and pointed North. There is really nothing to say about the flight. It was about as perfect as could be. We had nearly 30 miles of visibility, and calm skies. A slight quartering head wind kept our cruising speed to about 100 knots. After 1.3 hours of flight we came in at the long, brand new runway at Creighton. It looked really great. I crossed mid-field and made a nice easy 30 degree bank left turn to enter left downwind for the new runway 31. With very little wind it was as easy as they come. I touched down and hit the breaks for a very nice landing.

View Larger Map
Creighton Airport, before the update.

My wife made some onigiri for us to have as a little picnic under the wing of the Piper Archer.

Onigiri similar to what we ate.

Onigiri are basically rice balls. In the U.S. we eat sandwiches as a quick cold meal. The Japanese use onigiri in the very same fashion.
We had salmon last night for dinner, so we saved some back and put that in the middle of our onigiri. They were AWESOME!! Some chocolate cookies finished off the Feast Under the Wing, and we set our sights back to MLE.

The air was heating up a bit at this time, and my chosen altitude of 3500 feet was just a bit bumpy, so I headed up to 5500 feet. That was much more comfortable. The VFR recommended altitude for flying East is odd number thousand feet plus 500. The VFR recommended altitude for flying West is even number thousand feet plus 500. So if you are flying West you would choose 4500, 6500, 8500, 10500. East 3500, 5500, 7500, 9500.

After reaching altitude we noticed that the wind was now pushing us and we were doing about 120 knots. We settled in for a nice one hour flight...

We made it to Omaha, and a common thing happened... We couldn't find the airport. Omaha has a lot of roads and MLE has big leafy trees all around it, so it is not the easiest runway to find. We flew althe way to Papilion, before I caught sight of the Interstate and with it the airport. I was about at pattern altitude (2000 feet), because I did not want to fly in to OMA airspace and get in to trouble. My biggest worry was not that I wouldn't find the airport. We had plenty of fuel, my biggest worry would be that I would wander in to Offit or OMA's airspace and get my license suspended.

I lined up for a three mile final straight on to runway 30. I clicked in 10 degrees of flaps and lined up on the runway.
Set for 80 knots, bring up the nose watch airspeed bleed away. 80 knots.
Two miles. 20 degrees flaps, set for 75 knots.
One mile. Full flaps, set for 70 knots. Announce: "Millard area traffic Cherokee 6113 Juliet is final runway three zero, Millard."
Holy crap! Beware of the street lights above the Interstate. Give power to arrest decent. Hold 70 knots.
Obstacle clear. (Whew) I have enough altitude to make the runway. Pull power off.
Trim wheel back once.
10 feet off the ground, pull yoke back lift the nose watch speed bleed off, but no altitude gained.
Touch down!!!
Keep the nose high, apply breaks.
Turn left off of the runway. Announce: "Milliard area traffic, Cherokee 6311 Juliet is clear all runways, Millard traffic."

It was a great time. The wife was only a little bit worried at the end when she thought we were going to land on the Interstate. I knew we wouldn't land on the Interstate, but I was momentarily concerned that we would not clear the street lights...

Friday, June 27, 2008

SCOTUS Gets One Mostly Right! -- DC Gun Ban Recap

SCOTUS affirms that the Right to Bear Arms is an individual right, by a 5 to 4 vote. Let's see how I did:

Cheif Justice John Roberts Votes: OVERTURN
My Pick: Roberts votes to overturn the ban

John Paul Stevens Votes: Keep
My Pick: Sevens votes to overturn the ban.
This was a bit of a surprise to me...

Antonin Scalia Votes: OVERTURN
My Pick: Scalia votes to overturn the ban.
Scalia wrote the majority decision, however I do not believe that he went far enough. He left out military weapons, which, I believe, are absolutely necessary for overthrowing our Government should it become too tyrannical.

Anthony Kennedy Votes: OVERTURN
My Pick: Kennedy votes to uphold the ban.
I am surprised and pleased with Justice Kennedy's vote.

David Souter Votes: Keep
My Pick: I think that Souter votes to overturn the ban
Souter can rot in hell.

Clarence Thomas Votes: OVERTURN
My Pick: Thomas votes to overturn the ban

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Votes: Keep
My Pick: Ginsberg, with out a doubt, will vote to uphold the ban

Stephen Breyer Votes: Keep
My Pick: Breyer will vote to uphold the ban

Samuel Alito Votes: OVERTURN
My Pick: Alito votes to overturn the ban.

To celebrate this decision I have ordered a Kahr CW4543!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Freedom On The Chopping Block -- DC Gun Ban

Today the Supreme Court will rule on the right that protects all other rights... The right of the people to keep and bare arms.
This is a very important decision for our Republic (not democracy we do not use democracy as our form of government).
Does the Government, Federal, State, or local, have the right to confiscate certain weapons? Today, we find out. Will the Court rule for freedom or will they not?

In true Natto Ninja fashion, here is the card and My Picks:

Cheif Justice John Roberts
Roberts was appointed in 2005 by President George W. Bush. Roberts is a typical "Republican" justice. For the most part he reads and follows the Constitution, but only through the prism past president. Roberts seems to be unwilling to challenge previous court decisions, calling them the "law of the land."
I think that at his core Roberts is a traditionalist, and will support the spirit, and the word of the Constitution. Roberts votes to overturn the ban.

John Paul Stevens
Stevens was appointed by former President Gerald Ford in 1975. Despite being nominated by a conservative Republican President, Stevens is considered some what of a liberal. This may be because of they way he has voted in certain "morality" cases. Stevens, in current times, has voted for free speech, despite the presence of obscenity.
I think that Stevens will read the Constitution on this one. Sevens votes to overturn the ban.

Antonin Scalia
Scalia was appointed by former President Ronald Regan in 1986. Scalia holds nearly all of Regan's philosophies when it comes to the role of the Federal Government. He believes in a strict interpretation of the Constitution.
No problems picking this one. Scalia votes to overturn the ban.

Anthony Kennedy
Kennedy was appointed by former President Ronald Regan in 1988. Kennedy was an interesting choice for Regan, after this spot on pick of Antonin Scalia two years before. Kennedy seemed like a traditionalist, but has frequently ruled against freedom and against the Constitution. Kennedy has been known to cite European law as the basis of his decisions.
While Kennedy is a liberal, and a nut job, he has been known to vote on the side of the States on restrictions of Federally protected rights. Therefore, I think that Kennedy votes to uphold the ban.

David Souter
Souter was appointed by former President George Hebert Walker Bush in 1990. Souter was the result of a pre-Gulf War wimp of a President. Bush simply could not stick to his guns like his predecessor Ronald Regan. The result was David Souter a somewhat liberal justice.
Souter often votes with the liberals on the court, but this may be the one time where he breaks ranks. He has voted many times for states rights, but also many times for the power of the Federal Government... I think that Souter votes to overturn the ban.

Clarence Thomas
Thomas was appointed by former President George Herbert Walker Bush in 1991. Thomas asks very few questions during the oral argument phase of a Supreme Court Trial. Instead, he prefers to listen and think. Thomas is very much a traditionalist. He has strong feelings for the Constitution, and, most of the time, votes in favor of the literal interpretation. Thomas votes to overturn the ban.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ginsburg was appointed by former President Bill Clinton in 1993. If Ginsburg has ever read the Constitution, I don't know when. Ginsburg would be more at home in Stalnist Russia than a Justice of SCOTUS. Ginsberg, with out a doubt, will vote to uphold the ban, and then try to confiscate every gun in DC, Maryland and the eastern seaboard personally.

Stephen Breyer
Breyer was appointed by former President Bill Clinton in 1994. Breyer actually wrote a book that, in essence, said that the Constitution was no longer a viable document, and we should look to current social norms to litigate... Yeah. Not what the Framers had in mind. Breyer will vote to uphold the ban.

Samuel Alito
Roberts was appointed in 2006 by President George W. Bush. Alito is the closest thing we have to an originalist on SCOTUS. His vote is a no brainier. Alito votes to overturn the ban.

So we have a vote of 6 to 3. Freedom should carry the day... I hope.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wrong Choice???

I bought a Taurus Millennium Pro PT 145 in October... I am beginning to think that I have made a bad choice.

First and foremost there is the slide stop pin... It is junk. It is a simple plastic piece. I get nervous disassembling the gun for cleaning just because I think that the pin will break. I am doubly worried about shooting, because I always shoot +P rounds. This round is the same round that I use as my self defence round. I do this because I want to be intimate with how my gun handles with the ammunition that I will use on the street. These rounds throw the bullet just a bit harder than the normal ammo, so performance and placement is different. I want to make sure that I put rounds on target on the range and on the street, ESPECIALLY on the street.
Anyway, because I am using +P I need a pistol that can stand up to the abuse. I have an irrational fear that the pin will shear and I will end up with a slide in my forehead... I have read about problems with the pin shearing on the Mill Pro PT145s, but never embedding in any-one's brain box. Newton doesn't play that game.
Next, there is the accuracy of the pistol. I know that it takes time and practice to put rounds where you want them with any gun. BUT I have been able to make groupings with nearly every gun I have picked up since I was about 12 years old. Bullets should go to where you aim them. I realize that the short barrel length and the hot round sacrifice accuracy down range, but I can't make a grouping at 15 yards. Sure all are in the "center mass" area of the target, but Christ on a crutch I should be able to have something resembling a clover leaf at 12 freaking yards! I can put bullets through the same damn hole at 12 yards with a 1911, and I can't put two shots even close together with the PT145?? Somethings not right.

The gun I should have bought was the Kahr CW4545 or the Kahr PM4543. These pistols have the best reputation since Springfield started pumping out the 1911 model. Virtually everything I have read on these guns is positive. Rare negative comments are for chickenshit things, like feels too light, or I wish the slide was blued. Nothing ever about the performance, handling or accuracy.

Let's take a look:

Kahr CW4543

Width:1.01 inches
Length (Overall):6.32 inches
Barrel Length:3.64 inches
Height:4.8 inches
Weight:19.7 Ounces

Kahr PM 4543

Width:1.01 inches
Length (Overall):5.67 inches
Barrel Length:3.25 inches
Height:4.49 inches
Weight:17.3 Ounces

Taurus Millennium Pro PT 145

Width:1.25 inches
Length (Overall):6.125 inches
Barrel Length:3.25 inches
Height:5.125 inches
Weight:22.2 Ounces

The Taurus uses a double stack magazine, so it can hold nearly twice as many rounds as the Kahrs. That was a major selling point for me, because I did not want to have to carry a reload with me. With only 7 shots on board the CW and 6 on the PM, it might just be easier, and cheaper, to go with a revolver. I like the .45 ACP round, though, so screw that. On the other hand, what good is the extra rounds if you can't put them on target consistently. I would rather have fewer rounds and be accurate than a bunch of rounds and not hit anything.
Both the Kahrs are thinner, lighter, and shorter than the Taurus. These weapons are very easy to hide, and they won't pull my pants down like the Taurus does.

The Taurus was very inexpensive... that really held my attention. To get to be that cheap, the both sacrificed quality, accuracy, and labor costs (they are manufactured in Brazil). Kahrs are not cheap... They are not Kimber and HK expensive either. Kahrs are accurate, high quality, and are manufactured in the USA, so you pay a premium for what Americans will work for. They have the superior product, though.
I am kind of at an impasse... I have never shot either one of the Kahr pistols, so I have no idea if they are any better than the Taurus. The gun range around here does not have any Kahrs to rent either, so my purchase is essentially site unseen. If I want to put the time and effort in to getting approval to buy yet another pistol after purchasing one so soon, I really want it to be the gun I stick with for a long time.
I don't think that the gun I will stick with for a long time will be the Taurus. I simply don't trust it. Will I trust the Kahr?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Dustin Hazlett Submisson of the Night


Takedown to armbar. Very impressive.

Sand Ninjas

George Carlin... Why You Gotta Go???

The world lost a great comic. George Carlin passed last night. I loved Carlin's work, especially his little observations on the human condition. His "Stuff" routine nearly killed me I laughed so hard.

George shared many of my views on freedom, though we differed on the place that Government had in the individuals lives. He was able to express my views on religion infinitely better than I ever could. Here is a nugget that Carlin told the AP in a 2004 interview:

The whole problem with this idea of obscenity and indecency, and all of these things — bad language and whatever — it's all caused by one basic thing, and that is: religious superstition. There's an idea that the human body is somehow evil and bad and there are parts of it that are especially evil and bad, and we should be ashamed. Fear, guilt and shame are built into the attitude toward sex and the body.

Goodbye George... the comic world is a shell of what it used to be, and one of its last shining talents is gone forever.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Amir Sadollah

Is a stud. The guy has had the hardest path to the finals and has come up the better each time.

Gerald Harris: KO (knees)

Matt Brown: Triangle Choke

CB Dollaway: Armbar

Harris was an IFL vet, and a very good wrestler. He won the first round then Amir clobbered him.

Matt Brown was a seasoned vet who was feared by EVERYONE in the house including Amir. Amir went in to that fight thinking he was going to loose. Amir was loosing, and getting his face broken when he managed to hurt Matt, and lock in the choke.

CB was a solid fight who tore through the competition, and was smacking Amir around the ring until Amir caught one of the many armbars that was available to him.

Amir went through the grinder and came out ahead. He earned a fan in me, and I hope he beats CB in the rematch.

On a side note... Why did Tim Credeur not want to tangle with CB on the ground? After watching CB give up so many submissions to Amir, why did Tim's whole game plan not revolve around getting CB to the ground and catching the obviously sloppy CB from guard? Instead you had the BJJ guy wanting to trade with the known scrapper? Not the plan I would have been presenting.

Maurice Hinchey Your Congressperson... And Socialist

Yesterday Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), a member of the Appropriations Committee said:
"We (the government) should own the refineries. Then we can control how much gets out into the market."

Really? How did that work out for us in the '70s? Oh, that's right, 27% interest rates and gas lines.

How did that work out for us in the '40s? Oh, that's right, ration books.

At least the Socialists are coming out of their shells and actually saying what they believe. Good for them!

Dumb as a box of hammers

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Anderson Makes The Jump

On July 19th on Spike TV, Anderson Silva will make is first jump to the 205lb weight class!

He will keep his title at 185, and he will not fight a member of the "elite" member of the weight class, but it should be entertaining none the less. James "Sandman" Irvin has been contracted to enter the ring with "The Spider."

I think that Silva's movement to 205 is a good thing, and I think that he can defeat most fighters at that weight. I would love to see a Silva vs Silva match up. It is too bad that Babalu is out of the UFC... A Silva vs Babalu would have been classic.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Little Sioux and Crosswinds Too

My Dad flew in from OFK to EJJ to have a little father's day flight with me. Both being pilots, and more that a little bit curious to see all of the tornado damage just north of Blair, after that we were going to decide if we wanted to hit the pancake breakfast in Beatrice or head out to Dennison for a $300 hamburger.

I happily took controls of the 1956 Cessna 172, and listened in to the weather report.
"Winds from 200 at 10 knots."
Ok... My runway choices were 30 and 13. With the wind at 200 that gave me an almost 90 degree crosswind. Awesome. I love those.

I back taxied on 13 (most small airports do not have taxiways that go all the way to the end of the runway. So what you have to do is to get on the actual runway and drive down the length till the end, turn around and THEN put full throttle and take off) did my engine runup in the area at the end of the runway, announced departure and took off.

The 10 knot crosswind was not bad. I turned my nose slightly to the right to crab in to the wind and made a normal take off. I turned 180 degrees and headed to the north to take a look at the tornado damage to the Boy Scout Camp at Little Sioux.
As we passed 3000 feet I noticed that even though the nose of the airplane was poined in the direction I wanted to go, that was not the direction I was heading. Crap. I did not check the winds aloft map. We had just gone from a 10 knot wind out of 200 to about a 25 knot wind out of 200. I was pushing the airplane way off course. I gained about 2000 feet more of altitude, and things seemed to calm down a bit.

In short order we made it to Little Sioux camp.

View Larger Map

The whole place was mostly flattened. Trees were down everywhere. It was quite a sight.

After viewing the damage, dad turned on the weather at EJJ to get an idea of where we should head next. It is a universal and unshakable fact that all pilots love pancakes. That is why there are so many pancake breakfast fly-ins. Being both pilots, our love for pancakes was doubly so. So if the winds were the same we would head to Beatrice. If the winds were worse we would land back at EJJ. As I turned in a generally south westerly direction I noticed our ground speed change from 100 MPH to about 58 MPH. The radio crackled with the sound of the weather report.
"Winds from 200 at 14 knots gusting to 20."
Not good. The maximum crosswind that the manufactures at Cessna say we can take is 15 knots. With the wind still out of 200 that means that 100% of the wind would be crosswind. This was starting to get very unfun.

We decided to land back at EJJ, because the only other airports around with a westerly runway would be OMA, or OFK. Our transponder had not been checked in 10 years, so OMA was out, and I really did not want to fly to OFK, some 100 nautical miles off course.

Dad winked at me and said that it would be a fun time. We would take a 10 mile final keep 100 MPH air speed and put it right down. Easy for him to say, he was in the right seat.

Fighting the wind the whole way we eventually made it within 10 miles of EJJ. I announced my intentions lined myself up on the runway and started my landing decent.
As I passed 3000 feet the wind that had nailed us on take off nailed us again. I started to crab the airplane in to the wind to compensate for the drift. Usually your crab is about 10 degrees in to the wind... not today. I was looking at the runway out of my left door window. Crap. To add to my nervousness. Dad said:
"No flaps. We need to keep all of the speed we can."
Double crap. I had not made a no flap landing in nearly 15 years.
As we got closer to the runway, I realized that we were too high. The wind was making us float a bit. Trippe crap. I pulled the power all the way off, some 3 to 5 miles away from the landing point. I concentrated on keeping my airspeed up while dad called out helpful tips.
As we got to about a mile and a half away from the landing point, dad said that we were still too high and he was going to put in about 20 degrees of flap, so I could loose altitude with out gaining or loosing too much speed. I kept my hand on the throttle as he put two clicks of flap in.
The wind finally slacked off as we got about 500 feet off of the ground and I was able to put in a more normal crab. The wind was still way above crosswind component though.
We came past the end of the runway with about 100 to 150 feet of altitude still left to burn, I did not want to run out of airspeed, so we dropped 10 degrees of flap. Lean and fast now I worked in to my flair. I was carrying so much speed that my flair caused me to gain altitude. I forgot to fly the airplane in to the ground. I goosed the engine just a bit, as a knee jerk reaction to the altitude gain on flair, any other time that would be the right thing to do. Dad called out to pull the power off. I did immediately and worked on setting my windward (the side in to the wind) wheel on the ground. I screeched out and with a little aileron move I set my leeward wheel down. I put on the breaks and still had a third of the runway to spare!

With perhaps the toughest landing of my life behind me, dad and I congratulated each other on great teamwork to get the airplane down.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Fragile Freedoms

There are very very very few places in the world where you can speak your mind, what ever is in there, and not be in fear from government reprisal. The United States of America is one of them.

There is a man who wrote an article entitled "Why the Future Belongs to Islam." It was a biting and sarcastic article. It was published in Maclean's Magazine. The publisher and the author are now on trial, because they injured Muslims' "dignity and feelings of self respect."

Where do you think this is happening? Russia? China? Some Easter European country?

This is happening in Canada.

Our neighbors to the north will prosecute you if you step over in to "hate" speech. Who determines what hate speech is? Their government.

Right now, you can not be prosecuted in the U.S. for any speech that does not cause immediate violence to another. Even then the state would rather go after you for assault charges. No state's Attorney's General wants to be the one prosecuting somebody for speech violations... Right now.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Big John McCarthy to Appear Before ABC

Association of Boxing Commissions that is. To discuss... KNEES TO A GROUNDED OPPONENT!! John is in favor of knees. John is now my new favorite person.

Knees need to be allowed, as right now the lack of them is hurting the action of the sport, and breeding bad habits. The turtle, and the arm head lock has become the defensive positions of choice, as the guy on top has very little to work with. On top guy can not let go of the head and arm lock because the bottom guy will move and take his back, or reshoot. If they are still on their feet, the guy on the bottom knows that the knees are coming, he simply drops to the floor and turtles. With knees now the shot is much more dangerous to throw, as a missed shot means the knees are inescapable.

Knees on the ground also makes the ground game much more exciting to watch. As a guy passes guard, and moves in to side control, he has to work hard to keep his opponent on his back, with knees allowed his goal now becomes to get high on the body and drop knees on to the exposed face of his opponent. The opponent knows this and will work much harder to get out of the bad position. The top guy is not safe either. As Frank Shamrock showed in his DQ loss to Renzo Gracie, the bottom guy can maneuver so that he can land knees to the head of the top guy.

MMA was originally devised as a way to test all skills in a no rules environment. It has "evolved" in to a mess of vague and obscure rules that have been put in by idiots who know little of the sport. Knees on the ground and soccer kicks in Japan have been legal in some of the most competitive, steroid fueled bouts in history. No deaths, no serious injuries. Only good fights.

Go John, go!!

Not Good For the Cause

This isn't good...
From the AP

COLUMBIA, S.C. - A 4-year-old girl shot herself in the chest Monday after snatching her grandmother's handgun from the woman's purse while riding in a shopping cart at a Sam's Club store, authorities said.

A witness, Lueen Homewood, said store workers grabbed first-aid materials off store shelves to help the grandmother as she cradled the wounded child near the store's pharmacy, The (Columbia) State newspaper reported on its Web site.

The girl was rushed to a hospital in critical condition and was recovering Monday afternoon after surgery, said police department spokesman Brick Lewis. Hospital officials would not release her condition after the operation.

Lewis said the grandmother, Donna Hutto Williamson, has a permit to carry a concealed weapon and the purse containing the small-caliber handgun was in the cart near the child. The 47-year-old Williamson, of Salley, was not immediately charged with a crime.

Williamson, a South Carolina magistrate, was distraught after the shooting, her mother-in-law said.

"The grandmother is just beating herself up," said Inease Williamson, 68. "She is just so upset. Everyone is upset."

Officials said the shooting, which was captured on store surveillance cameras, appeared to be accidental. Lewis said police would not release the video.

The store was closed while police investigated the shooting. It reopened Monday afternoon.

"Everyone at Sam's Club is deeply saddened by today's tragedy," Tara Stewart, state spokeswoman for Wal-Mart and Sam's Club, said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the little girl and her family."

Concealed weapons permit holders in South Carolina are not allowed to carry weapons into buildings that prohibit it, or into government buildings, schools and daycare facilities, among other places.

The Sam's Club store does not have a sign prohibiting guns inside.

Monday, June 9, 2008

UFC 85: Bedlam

The event was aptly named, as Alves' failure to make weight a horribly early stoppage, and a few surprises put the UFC's title hunts in "Bedlam".

Antoni Hardonk def Eddie Sanchez TKO (Punch) 4:15 rnd 2
My Pick: Hardonk

Paul Taylor def Jess Liaudin Decision (Split)
My Pick: Laiaudin
Taylor coming on strong!

Luis Cane def Jason Lambert TKO (strikes) 2:07 rnd 1
My Pick: Lambert
This was a great fight. Luis used his reach advantage to excellent effect hitting Labert with a big right hand and finishing him off quick.

Kevin Burns def Roan Carneiro Submission (Triangle Choke) 2:53 rnd 2
My Pick: Carneiro

Matt Wiman def Thiago Tavares KO (Punches) 1:57 rnd 2
My Pick: Tavares
Handsome Matt Wiman really looks sharp. He neatly destroyed Tavares and he looks to be one of the best fighters to come out of the TUF house.

The Punch

Martin Kampmann def Jorge Rivera Submission (Guillotine choke) 2:44 rnd 1
My Pick: Kampmann
I like to see Rivera fight, I mean he walks in with chain mail on his head!! However, he might be only useful as a UFC gatekeeper.

Fabricio Werdum def Brandon Vera TKO (Punches) 4:40 rnd 1
My Pick: Vera
Bad stoppage. Vera was in no way hurt, BUT Werdum had mount was throwing punches, and Vera was doing nothing to stop the barrage or escape. Out come would be most likely the same, but the early stoppage sullys the sport.

Thales Leites def Nathan Marquardt Decision (Split)
My Pick: Marquardt
Thales had Nate out in the first, but could not finish it. Nate came back, but threw an illegal knee that sealed the decision for Thales.

Mike Swick def Marcus Davis Decision
My Pick: Swick

Michael Bisping def Jason Day TKO (Punches) 3:42 rnd 1
My Pick: Bisping

Thiago Alves def Matt Hughes TKO (Knee and punches) 1:02 rnd 2
My Pick: Hughes
I am not sure what this means for the division or for Matt Hughes. Sure the loss is a bad one, but Thiago was SO much bigger than Matt. Thiago did not make weight, so this fight did not happen in the Welterweight division. It occurred in the Middleweight division. In my opinion this is a meaningless Victory for Alves, and though he gets a W on his record, it should have an asterisk.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Yet Another Reason To Close Borders

When you immigrate to the US, the Government has certain requirements that you have to meet. One such requirement is that you are not infected with any serious illnesses, and if you are, they are properly controlled. This is for the protection of U.S. citizens. When you have illegal immigration, you do not get this screening, and diseases all but wiped out in the U.S. make a resurgence. Case in point is tuberculosis, TB, or consumption.

TB was all but unheard of in the U.S. just a few years ago, but as the number of illegal aliens grows and grows, the number of TB cases grows and grows. Newest on the TB hit parade is M. bovis TB. You get this from eating dairy products from infected cows. Food that is made in the U.S., and up to U.S.D.A. standards, pasteurizes all dairy products, so this strain of TB just does not occur here. Not anymore. Products smuggled in from Mexico, and "bathtub" cheese. You read it right. Cheese made in the same place where people bathe... Yum.

Time to stop this. Close the boarders. It is no longer just about terrorism. It is now a public health concern!! That trumps all rights, just ask the smokers. The ones that haven't been shot for smoking in public areas that is.
Bring in people through the proper channels.


UFC 84: Bedlam most Fighters Make Weight

Eddie Sanchez (244) VS Antoni Hardonk (247) (Heavyweight)
My Pick: Hardonk

Jess Liaudin (169) VS Paul Taylor (169) (Welterweight)
My Pick: Laiaudin

Luiz Cane (204) VS Jason Lambert (205) (Light Heavyweight)
My Pick: Lambert

Roan Carneiro (171) VS Kevin Burns (170) (Welterweight)
My Pick: Carneiro

Thiago Tavares (154.5) VS Matt Wiman (155) (Lightweight)
My Pick: Tavares

Martin Kampmann (186) VS Jorge Rivera (185) (Middleweight)
My Pick: Kampmann

Fabricio Werdum (247) VS Brandon Vera (228) (Heavyweight)
My Pick: Vera

Thales Leites (185) VS Nate Marquardt (185) (Middleweight)
My Pick: Marquardt

Mike Swick (170) VS Marcus Davis (170) (Middleweight)
My Pick: Swick

Jason Day (184) VS Michael Bisping (184) (Middleweight)
My Pick: Bisping

Thiago Alves (174) VS Matt Hughes (170) (Catch weight, Alves 4 lbs over Welterweight limit)
My Pick: Hughes


I had a shock today... Someone asked me what the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment were.

"That's easy!" I said with smug indignation. "How dare they ask me? Ask some half wit over there!" I thought.
"First congress is not to restrict the establishment of religion or its practice."
One finger went up
"Next there is freedom of speech."
Two fingers.
"And then there is the freedom of the press."
Three fingers.
"Of course, the freedom to peaceably assemble."
Four fingers.
"Finally there is... Five freedoms you say??"
A smile formed on the lips of my inquisitor.
"Ummmm.... uhhhhhhhh... religion, speech, press, assembly...."
I shrugged. My shame overcame me. I knew that I would not get it.
"I guess I don't know the third..."
"The right to petition Government for a redress of Grievances!!!" My questioner triumphantly chortled.
"Great. You got me." I said. But now it was my turn. "What does it mean?" I asked.
"Who cares?" was the brilliant reply.

Who cares. I do. You should. It means that you can fight city hall, with out fear of reprisal from city hall. For instance, if the Government proposes to build a highway outside my house, I have a right to go to whatever Government agency is building the road and ask them to build it somewhere else, and not be thrown in jail because I did so.

The right to redress Government was unique in the 18th century. Sure it was part of the Magna Carta, and had roots in English Common Law, but was it applied in practice? No. The colonies breaking away from England was a prime example of the inability of the people to redress grievances.

It is common place today. It is unthinkable that a modern Government would throw people in jail for simply complaining. But it happened then... and it happens now. In China, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, and in many other countries people are imprisoned for simply walking up to a government agency and complaining. Think about that the next time you are challenging your property tax valuation.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Democrats Decide

Obama effectively won the nomination last night. Good for him. Good for you Democrats. You have nominated a man who's political views are just slightly left of Kruschev. Wait... I have to take that back... Kruschev was a leader who was willing to stand up to his enemies, not appease them... Wait... No he wasn't, but he was certainly more manly than Obama. Banging that shoe and all...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Profit Margins

Last week oil company executives were called to testify in front of Congress. It was because of record profits that the oil companies are enjoying.
The oil company execs stated that it was because of volume of sales that they were making so much money not that they were screwing the customer. They brought up their profit margins to back this up. The profit margin is determined by subtracting your sales from your cost of goods then dividing by your sales (Sales-Cost of goods)/Sales. This tells you how much money you made on each dollar brought in.
Right now Exon Mobil has a gross profit margin of 21.6%
Let's compare this to some other companies shall we?

Apple Computers: 34.4%
Whole Foods: 34.5
HP: 24.6
Toyota (maker of the Prius): 25.5

All of these companies make more money on the dollar than the oil company does. Why were they not called before congress? Why wasn't John Mackey torn away from posting bad things about his competitors online to testify in front of congress why his company was screwing the customer by charging too much? Why wasn't Steve Jobs put on the stand to explain his company's extreme profits?

The price of gas can be easily reduced by adding more oil in to the market, forcing the price of crude down. Right now OPEC is in control of the majority of the supply. The US has plenty of oil that it could drill to reduce the burden on its people. Congress has simply refused to allow drilling where the oil is.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Weekend Wrap Up

Lots of good fights this weekend. First, in the most watched main event ever in MMA, James Thompson walked in with the biggest set of Cauliflower Ear the non-MMA/Wrestling world has ever seen. It was enormous, and it was not old. It was fresh, and exploded in dramatic bloody fashion late in the fight. Couldn't Garry Shaw have had somebody drain that thing before Thompson walked in the ring? Yuck.

Overall, the WEC event was at a such higher skill level than the EliteXC event it is embarrassing to even mention them in the same sentence. With the exception of the Lawler/Smith fight, the comparison is on the level of the WEC's NFL to EliteXC's 7th grade Pierce, Nebraska football team (Go Bluejays!!)

EliteXC on CBS

Joe Sampieri def Mike Groves TKO (Strikes) 4:58 rnd 1
My Pick: Joe by KO first round.

Zach Makovsky def Andres Soares Decision
My Pick: Andre by RNC first round

James Jones def Calvin Kattar Submission (Rear Naked Choke) 4:49 rnd 1
My Pick: James by some sort of choke first round

Wilson Reis def Justin Robbins Submission (Rear Naked Choke) 4:06 rnd 1
My Pick: Justin by KO first round

Matt Makowski def Nick Serra DQ (Wouldn't Get Up From Butt Scoot) 3:57 rnd 2
My Pick: I say Matt by decision.
Honestly, if you get thrown out for not getting up from the butt scoot, you need to find a new profession...
The story goes that Matt was roughing Nick up on the feet and Matt tried to pull guard to get it to the ground. Matt, not being a moron, escaped the attempt and motioned for Serra to get up. Serra stayed on the ground and a point was deducted for Nick not getting up. Eventually Nick did get up and tried to pull guard again. Again Matt escaped and motioned Nick to get up. Again Nick did not get up, another point was deducted, and still Nick refused to get up. At that point the Ref DQed Nick. Horrible. Unprofessional. Unforgivable.

Carlton Haselrig def Carlos Moreno TKO (Corner Stoppage) 5:00 rnd 1
My Pick: Carlos wins by KO first round
Ummm... Wow.

Chris Liguori def Jim Bova TKO (Cut) 4:31 rnd 1
My Pick: Chris by KO second round
No surprise Chris was so much bigger.

Brett Rogers def Jon Murphy TKO (Punch) 1:01 rnd 1
My Pick: N/A (I missed this one somehow)
Very good first fight on the televised card, good that it ended quickly and did not give a chance for both obviously out of shape fighters to gas.

Joey Villasenor def Phil Baroni TKO (Punches) 1:11 rnd 1
My Pick: Phil by first round KO
Joey looked awesome. He was able to stick Phil with punches Right on the button. Joey looked like the real deal, Phil justed looked silly. His ring entrance took longer than the fight.

Gina Carano def Kaitlin Young TKO (Doctor Stoppage) 3:00 rnd 2
My Pick: Gina by armbar first round.
Gina looked, well looked gassed immediately in to the first round. She wore herself out going for a submission she had no idea how to finish. Lesson to new fighters!! Don't go for gogo platas. Just don't. Only Brad Imes and Nick Diaz can go for them.
Gina did well at the end of the first and the entire second landing the right hand that, I am sure, broke some bones in Kaitlin's face.
I hate woman's MMA. I don't like to see them get all busted up. Hate hate hate hate it.

Robbie Lawler Scott Smith No Contest (Thumb in the eye) 3:26 rnd 3
My Pick: Robbie by KO first round.
Robbie was clearly winning the fight before the accidental thumb ended it. Good fight for both guys.

Kevin Ferguson def James Thompson TKO (punches) 0:38 rnd 3
My Pick: Kevin by KO early first round
Let's be honest... Kevin was getting his ass handed to him before he caught James. Kevin did not quit he persevered. This was good. The skill level displayed in this fight... Awful. Just awful.
Hopefully the EliteXC can gather some money now and pay some real fighters to show what they can do. Good opponents for Joey Valisnior, and Robbie Lawler will do much to lend credibility to the show.

WEC 34 - Sacramento

Dominic Cruz def Charlie Valencia Decision

Jose Aldo def Alexandre Franca Nogueira TKO (Punches) 3:22 rnd 2
I would have picked Nogueira to win this one... Nogueira has been such a dominating force in Shooto for so long that I thought he was bullet proof... I guess not.

Alex Serdyukov def Luis Sapo TKO (Corner Stoppage) 5:00 rnd 1

Tim McKenzie def Jeremy Lang Submission (Guillotine choke) 0:40 rnd 3

Will Ribeiro def Chase Beebe Decision (Split)
Wow. Chase should have taken this one easy...

Mike Brown def Jeff Curran Decision
Good work for Mike Brown!

Donald Cerrone def Danny Castillo Submission (Armbar) 0:30 rnd 1

Rob McCullough def Kenneth Alexander Decision (Split)
Rob just looked bad in this fight. It seems as if he just can not get back to is old butt kicking ways.

Mark Munoz def Chuck Grigsby TKO (Punches) 4:15 rnd 1
This fight was a lot of fun. It is nice to see guys with good skill, just winging punches at each other...

Miguel Torres def Yoshiro Maeda TKO (Doctor Stoppage - Swollen eye) 5:00 rnd 3
Maeda looked very good in this fight. He met eveything Torres had ad then some. He just had trouble stopping the Jab, and Torres made him pay for it. Good fight, and I hope they bring Maeda back.

Urijah Faber def Jens Pulver Decision
Faber looked great, BUT Jens looked, well, old. Jens just didn't let his hands go. I don't know if the left side of his face was hurt or what, but the Jens Pulver that slugged it out with BJ Penn, and Takanori Gomi just wasn't there last night...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Comfort Zone

My jab flies true.
His head snaps. Leaving me an opening for my right kick.
I feel my shin make contact, and stop against the bone of his ribs.
I hear the groan, see the drooping of the eye lids.

I am fast, strong, supple, and accurate. My timing is perfect.
I feel good.
I am not here to feel good. I am not here to be fast, strong, and supple. I am here to face my enemy. I loath this feeling. I wish to banish it from my self.
I push the pace. My opponent gives more ground. The bell sounds. He is unwilling to face the enemy today. He succumbs to the enemy's Champion. We embrace. Next time, my friend, next time you will face him.

I look for another. He is easy to find. He has scorn and contempt in his eyes. Not for me. For the enemy.
We touch gloves as the bell sounds. In that caress of leather, there is an agreement, we do not stop until we have faced the enemy. We will not fall to his Champion.

Move away from the power. Back leg crashes in to his lead. I see him stumble, I shoot. He sprawls. In the clinch, his chest on my head. I know the knees are coming.
I feel the shift of weight the mass of flesh and bone speeds to my head.


Pain is not the enemy. Pain is the teacher. I have sinned. Pain is my penance.

I duck, and move sharply, I escape, but not fast enough. He shoots. I am suddenly floating. Only one thought in my head. The teacher is coming.

On the ground now. The pace is ferocious. My heart bounds in its cage. I feel the enemy watching me.

I shift left, my leg comes free. I wrap my legs around my opponent's body. He knows his peril. He knows he made a mistake. He knows the teacher is now coming for him.

The enemy now watches us intently. It is almost time for him to strike. He sends in his Champion to tease us. Like all cowards, the enemy has those to do his fighting for him. The Champion is formidable.

I now hear the Champion whisper in my ear. "Just hold on to his arm and head. Stall. No need to expend more energy."

I snarl. Not because the Champion says such things, but because I want to heed his poison advice.

I shift left, my legs come high. My opponent moves, feeling the coming danger. I let go of his head for a split moment. I am punished immediately when he lifts his head up and smashes my face with a hard left hand. As the right rears to join what its brother did, I raise up grab his head, elevate my hips, and bring him down on to my chest.
He manages to push my leg down. His knee on my thigh. I turn in to him, pushing desperately on this knee and hip to avoid the pass. No avail. His pass is perfect.
His hips and legs free, he settles all of his weight on my chest. My breathing slows with the pressure. Spots fly in front of my face.

The Champion now laughs with glee. "Tap out" He says. "You know you want to."
"You need not be in this position. Tap out"
I hate the Champion. I hate myself, because my hand raised to give the tap. NO. I am in no danger here! I have been here before. I will be here again. I WILL NOT TAP.

Inside move inside. Get your back off the mat. MOVE!

He raises up to deliver an elbow, I growl at the Champion and use the space to move my knee inside. A bump later and I am back in guard.

But the Enemy is here now. The one I wanted to face. He saps my energy. Takes my speed. Robs me of my courage. His Champion laughs at me, but I know I have moved past the Champion. I face the enemy now.
My opponent faces him too. Our breath is labored. Our strikes more like pats. Our movement is gross, with out its earlier fluidity. The Enemy takes that from us.

I must defeat the Enemy. "You can not defeat me." the Enemy says. "I am you."
"I will beat you back then." I say. "You will not dominate me."
"I have before." The Enemy retorts. "I will again."
"Not today." I say. "Not today."

I shift quickly to my right. The move is unexpected and sudden. My left leg moves up, past my opponent's shoulder. I push his right arm outside. My left leg snaps down on my opponent's neck. My right knee locks over my left foot. The choke is tight, powerful, and technically perfect.

"Can you hold it?" Asks the enemy.
"Just let it go." Says the Champion. "It is too hard."

I feel my opponent tap softly on my leg. I release him. The bell sounds.
We look at each other and laugh. We faced the enemy. We beat him back. We did not succumb to his Champion. Not today.